Bradley Johnson knows what it takes to be a play-off hero
PUBLISHED: 16:34 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:35 11 May 2018
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Bradley Johnson is drawing on sweet memories of play-off success at Norwich City to help drag Derby County into the Premier League, ahead of Friday’s semi-final, first leg home tie against Fulham.
Johnson and Cameron Jerome will be key figures for the Rams as they look to edge past Fulham over two legs to set up a Wembley shoot-out against either Aston Villa or Middlesbrough.
The combative midfielder was vital to the Canaries’ 2014/15 Wembley triumph over Boro, after a stunning Championship season when he notched 15 goals, and Johnson will draw on all that experience.
“It’s about how you handle the day and how you handle the occasion,” he said, speaking to Derby’s official site. “If you get caught up in the hype of it, it can take your mind off the game and that’s where you go wrong.
“You just have to keep calm and treat it as a normal game, which we have done this week, then it will take care of itself on the night.
“Going back to that Norwich side, we worked hard for each other, we had that belief in the team that we could beat anyone and I feel that we have that same belief here now.
“I thrive on these big pressure games. The reward at the end of it is one of the best moments in football, there is no better feeling than going to Wembley and lifting the cup.
“We have got two games now and it’s whoever turns up and who wants it more on the night.
“I can sit here now and say we want to get to Wembley and we want to get promoted. It’s all about what we do now and we are confident going into the game.”